Standard Jazz Bass Fretless review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (11 votes)
Fender: Standard Jazz Bass Fretless

Sound — 9
I generally play anything, from punk to bluegrass and from classical to metal and I can safely say that this bass can fit in with any of these crowds. On the neck pup, you can create a warm, smooth tone, perfect for classic rock and jazz and the bridge pup, when paired with roundwound strings and the tone knob on full, can really let rip, with a general, all-purpose tone, which is my usual choice. I use a Peavey Max 12, which is a decent enough amp for practices nad small gigs, and I feel, compliments the bass well.

Overall Impression — 9
As I said before, I play any type of music and the bass can be adapted to fit into any genre I choose to play. Also, with the dark maroon finish, it doesn't look out of place either. I have been playing for nearly 5 and a half years and this is my main gigging and practicing bass, alongside my rarely used Ibanez and a Peavey Milestone III starter bass (which is soon to be sold to the bassist in my brothers band). If it was stolen or lost, I don't currently have the funds to buy another (having recently purchased an Epiphone G-400 guitar), but I would certainly do my hardest to track it down. Before buying it, I had tried a fretted Fender Precision and a fretted Fender Jazz alongside the fretless Jazz, but the noticably thicker neck was a major factor in not buying the P Bass and I preferred the overall feel of the fretless Jazz to the fretted version, which had a maple fingerboard. The only thing I will say is that I find it difficult to coax out a trademark fretless "mwaaah" but I am happy with the overall tone, and indeed, the whole instrument.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This bass has withstood a rock gig in a pub, a folk performance at a local show and a classical orchestral performance at the school that I attend. For all three, it never let me down once. It stayed in tune throughout the performances and, although the strap gave way in between songs at the folk concert, this was more the fault of the old, fraying strap thanthe strap buttons. I took my 5 string Ibanez as a back up to the rock gig and, thankfully, I never had to use it. I have owned the bass since June 2007 (nearly 10 months) and the finish is still as good as it was when I purchased it. A very reliable instrument and a pleasure to play for any concert.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was just right, as I prefer a lower action and, paired with the fretless neck, makes the bass very playable and easy to access. Every aspect of the bass was very well made, with only minor flaws, such as a loose control knob (easily tightened with the smaller alan key) and a small amount of plastic hanging from the pickguard, which was easily removed by an ordinary emery board.

Features — 8
This Mexico-made bass features an alder body, with a bolt-on maple neck and a rosewood fretboard. The neck is wonderfully slim and has 20 fret lines where the frets should be on an ordinary fretted bass, with the inlays on the top of the neck, also in the same place that they would be on a fretted bass. It also includes all licensed Fender hardware and the ordinary J pickups, with the standard 3 tone knob set (Bridge pup, Neck pup and tone). The bass came ready fitted with Fender flatwound strings, but these were too rigid for my tastes, so I replaced them with Rotosound Swing Bass 66 Rounds. Also, the wonderful guys at Fender threw in a Fender gigbag and the necessary alan keys for adjusting the bridge and truss rod, thoigh the factory action was just about right, needing very few tweaks. All in all, a very nice bass, which comes with the colour choice of three colour sunburst (costing 30 extra), black, arctic white, wine red, electron blue and chrome red, of which I chose wine red.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i guess so... as u read in the review, there are fret lines instead of frets...
    I have an alder body fretless and it has about 3 seconds of sustain. Fender needs to quit cutting corners and use quality wood when constructing the bodies of their guitars.
    I have an alder body fretless and it has about 3 seconds of sustain. Fender needs to quit cutting corners and use quality wood when constructing the bodies of their guitars.
    fair point.
    I have a 2000 Standard Fretless Jazz Bass. I STOLE it from a pawn shop for $125. I didn't even realize it was fretless until I got it home. I LOVE it. It doesn't have quite the output of my '95 Standard P=Bass, but it has a great tone and a really cool vibe. I'm a guitar player, never really been a bass player, but now I'm playing bass and singing lead vocals in a 3 pc. rock band. I would have thought it would be hard to fret precisely enough to play a fretless instrument, but it's not, it's just very smooth. I love mine.